NIHR Global Health Research Unit on Respiratory Health (RESPIRE)

Siti Nurkamilla Ramdzan

Project: Culturally Tailored School-Based Interventions for Childhood Asthma in Malaysia (CuT-AsthMa)

PhD overview

  • Acute or chronic:  Chronic
  • Country:  Malaysia
  • Based at:  University of Malaya
  • Start date:  01 April 2018
  • End date:  31 March 2021
  • Supervisors:  Hilary Pinnock, Steve Cunningham, Ee Ming Khoo, Su May Liew
  • Email:
Siti Nurkamilla Ramdzan Headshot
RESPIRE PhD student: Siti Nurkamilla Ramdzan


In Malaysia, almost one in every 10 children has asthma and between 48.2% and 90% of them are poorly controlled, probably reflecting poor care of asthma.

Supported asthma self-management and skills training is one of the key components of care to control asthma symptoms and minimise risk of asthma exacerbation, delivered at the healthcare setting. However, only a third of children in Malaysia attend regular follow-up with their healthcare provider.

Systematic reviews on school-based interventions have been shown to be effective in improving asthma control and quality of life among children with asthma. Thus, a school-based intervention could supplement self-management in healthcare setting and could improve asthma control in children in Malaysia.

Malaysia is a multi-ethnic country and each ethnic group has its own native language, cultural beliefs and values that could influence the self-management of asthma, and should be considered during the development and delivery of the intervention.

Aim and impact

The aim of this PhD is to develop and test the feasibility of a school-based intervention that is culturally tailored for Malaysian children to improve childhood asthma outcomes.

Currently, there is no written policy/plan for the management of asthma in government primary school in Malaysia and the findings of this study could contribute to changing the school policy or plan of asthma management in schools. If successful, this approach would help children to self-manage their asthma, improving asthma control and reducing the burden of childhood asthma in Malaysia.

Key developments

  • 6 abstracts delivered at professional conferences (ERS; IPCRG, Asia Pacific Primary Care Research Conference).
  • The qualitative data collection is complete and two papers published (one reporting use of complementary and alternative medicines, and the other exploring how young children develop self-management skills) are in preparation.


How young children learn independent asthma self-management: a qualitative study in Malaysia

Ramdzan SN, Khoo EM, Liew SM, Cunningham S, Kendall M, Sukri N, Salim H,  Suhaimi J, Lee PY, Cheong AT, Hussein N, Hanafi NS, Ahad AM, Pinnock H

Archives of Disease in Childhood. Published Online First: 03 July 2020.

Perceptions of complementary/alternative medicine use and influence on evidence-based asthma medicine adherence in Malaysian children

Ramdzan SN, Pinnock H, Liew SM, Sukri N, Salim H, Hanafi NS, Hussein N, Suhaimi J, Lee PY, Cheong AT, Ahad AM, Cunningham S, Khoo EM.

NPJ Prim Care Respir Med. 2019 Feb; 29:5

Project data

Download the project Data Management Plan

View project metadata on the Health Data Research Innovation Gateway

View associated project data on Edinburgh DataShare

About me

I am a general practitioner undertaking a PhD at the University of Edinburgh. I am a lecturer at the University of Malaya, Malaysia, and obtained a master’s degree in Family Medicine from the same university.

My passion is to integrate research into practice for improvement in health, particularly in respiratory conditions. I hope to broaden my research network, become an experienced researcher and contribute more to high impact research.

Three-Minute Thesis-Style Video Competition

For the RESPIRE ASM Showcase on the 24th November 2020, the RESPIRE PhD students recorded videos explaining their research, as part of a Three-Minute Thesis-Style Video Competition. Watch Kamilla's presentation below.

Video: RAMDZAN, Kamilla
RESPIRE 3-Minute Thesis-Style Video Competition - RAMDZAN, Kamilla - Culturally Tailored school-based intervention for Asthma in Malaysia (CuT-AsthMa)